I remember seeing images of this film, specifically the leading actor, a few times in the past, in books and things, then I found out is was directed by the late great Wes Craven (The Hills Have Eyes, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream), I always wanted to see it. Basically an abandoned ship crashes into a dockyard in Brooklyn, New York, ship inspector Silas Green (John Witherspoon) finds it full of corpses, there is also an intricately carved coffin, which contained suave, mysterious vampire Maximillian (Eddie Murphy). Elsewhere Julius Jones (Kadeem Hardison), Silas's nephew, is saved from being killed by two goons by Maximillian, who intervenes and kills them, Maximillian infects Julius with his vampiric blood, turning Julius into a decaying ghoul. Maximillian explains he is in Brooklyn in search of the Dhampir daughter of a vampire from his native Caribbean island in order to live beyond the night of the next full moon, this turns out to be NYPD Detective Rita Veder (Boyz n the Hood's Angela Bassett). Rita and her partner Detective Justice (Allen Payne) are in the middle of investigating the murders on the ship, Rita starts having strange visions of a woman that looks like her, and questions the past of her mentally ill mother, a paranormal researcher, who died some months ago, Rita has a "strange feeling", and is completely unaware of her heritage, she believes, similar to her mother before, she is losing her mind. To find out more about her and further pull her into his thrall, Maximillian uses sinister methods, including seducing and murdering her roommate Nikki (Simbi Khali), and disguising himself as respected Preacher Pauly and lowlife crook Guido, in these disguises Max also misleads Rita into thinking Justice slept with Nikki, making her jealous and angry with him. After saving her from being hit by a taxicab, Maximillian takes Rita to dinner, she is taken by his suave charm, and begins to fall in love with him, while dancing with her, he bites her. Later the next day Justice finds Rita in her darkened apartment asleep, he informs her that Nikki has been found dead, and wants to help her understand her strange visions, one of them was about Nikki's murder, Rita tearfully forgives Justice and is happy he is starting to understand her. Rita and Justice embrace and passionately kiss, these long-repressed emotions begin Rita's transformation into a vampire, but she stops herself biting Justice when she is horrified to see her reflection fading from a mirror, a sign of becoming one of the "undead". Max explains himself, but she already blames him for her "turning", and deduces he is responsible for the murders, Rita also finds out that Max was sent to her by her father, a vampire, Rita's mother was driven insane due to his death at the hands of vampire hunters. Rita is hysterical, Maximillian tries to convince her life as a vampire is better than that of the human world, and that she will be out of place and misunderstood by society. Justice plans to rescue Rita, he seeks help and advice from vampire expert Dr. Zeko (Zakes Mokae), who they visited earlier, he explains that he knew Rita's mother when she was researching vampires of the Caribbean islands, and that she surrendered to evil by falling in love with Rita's vampire father. Rita must avoid becoming a vampire by refraining from drinking innocent human blood, and Maximillian must die before the next full moon, Zeko gives Justice an ancient dagger to kill Maximillian, or risk Rita killing him. By the time Justice reaches Rita, she is almost completely changed into a vampire, and threatens to bite him, Justice and Max engage in a battle, Justice loses the dagger and Max encourages Rita to finish him and complete the transformation, she rejects life as a vampire, and drives the dagger through Maximillian's heart, causing him to disintegrate. Rita as her heartbroken self is heartbroken, but with Maximillian dead she changes back into a normal human, Rita and Justice then embrace in a passionate kiss, meanwhile Julius has completely decayed, enter his master's limousine and happens upon Maximillian's ring, which he puts on, this instantly transforms him into a fully intact member of the undead, overjoyed he tells his uncle Silas he is the new vampire in Brooklyn. Also starring Joanna Cassidy as Captain Dewey, Scream's W. Earl Brown as Thrasher and Jerry Hall as Woman in Park. Murphy is both suave and sinister as the Caribbean vampire, also a master of disguise, he gets his laughs from being the alcoholic preacher and the Italian gangster, Bassett and the other co-stars do their parts fine as well, the intended jokes are lost in the scary element of the film, because of the amount of gore and grizzly makeup and special effects you are frightened more often than laughing, but overall it is an interesting, funny enough and dark comedy horror. Good!
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